The Fire Marshal

Little Red Riding Hood went through the woods to her grandmother’s house, which was in a dark grove of willow trees on the edge of a swamp. She had in her basket bread and cheese for her grandmother, who had been sick for some time, and who needed something to cheer her up.

Little Red Riding Hood had no way of knowing that her grandmother wasn’t inside her house, that in fact there was a wolf that was wearing her clothes and lying on her bed. So when she knocked on the door and called out, “Hello, Grandma!” a strange voice told her to enter.

Little Red Riding Hood thought perhaps being ill had changed her grandmother’s voice, and so she entered. She thought that perhaps the reason her grandmother looked so much bigger than usual was all the pillows that had been set around her. But then the wolf jumped up, and Little Red Riding Hood saw that it was not her grandmother at all.

“Hurry,” said the wolf, “I’m a fire marshal, and I have determined that this house is a fire hazard. You mustn’t be here, or else you might be trapped in a burning building.”

“What reasonable advice you give, Grandma,” said Little Red Riding Hood.

“I’m not your grandma,” he said.

“Then why are you wearing her clothes and lying in her bed?” asked Little Red Riding Hood.

“The duties of being fire marshal sometimes put me in odd situations.”

Little Red Riding Hood thought that was sensible enough, and she was glad to have such committed civil servants looking out for her safety.


Written on 1/23/16 in a building that was up to code.

The Fire Marshal